THE BEACH TOWEL- A GARDEN SURPRISE-THE DYE PARTY

4 08 2017

GREETINGS

Summer is flying by with all kinds of crazy weather.  Last night we had what seemed like hours of terrible thunderstorms and torrential rains.  Some areas had a slight frost in July.   We now have to become accustomed to global warming effects.

THE BEACH TOWEL

The towel is old and tattered but I could not throw it away.  I used it as a teenager, my kids used it and my grandchildren used it.   I am planning on cutting it into strips and making a small bath mat.    I do love repurposing things

A GARDEN SURPRISE

About 4 years ago I ordered three Hazelnut trees.  I planted one at the edge of the side yard chicken area and it grew.  I  had forgotten where the others were and still can’t find them.  I thought I would have to buy another pollinator tree.  I do love the tree its shape is perfect and its a  manageable size.  Walking by it the other day I spotted something unfamiliar  and it is nuts starting to grow.

 What a surprise and the tree is loaded.  Maybe the other trees have survived or there is another one in the neighborhood.  Looking forward to having my own hazelnuts.

THE DYE PARTY

On a perfect summer day in July, Thursday Spinners had what we hope will be an annual event.  It was held on Marti Ferguson’s beautiful  farm.   Set on hill overlooking part of the village of Buckland, the site couldn’t have been more perfect.  In the distance we could hear the baaing of her  Finn sheep and chicken sounds.  Both chemical and natural dyes were in abundance.     Amanda generously shared her Indigo dye pot and as always it was thrilling to see yarn come out of the pot  green and slowly turn to blue.

 

 

 

 

 

 

  There was painting on roving and yarns and pot dyeing.

 

 

 

 

 

 

It may look red but is orange and  it is perfect for Raggity Ann dolls hair.

 Other natural dyes were there for all to share.  

   A pot luck lunch with so many goodies to choose from was enjoyed by all.   I will keep putting pictures of the party on future blog.

A NEW KITCHEN

Look for adventures in re doing a kitchen in a 1850 house.  Its exciting, scary and not pretty.  Many thanks for reading my blog on this overcast summer day.   Carole

MAUDE EATING BREAKFAST





FALL DECORATIONS-CHORES-EMBROIDERY PATTERN

6 10 2015

GREETINGS

We are lucky to be having beautiful fall weather while other parts of the country are in crisis mode with severe flooding.  The wash is on the line and I am ready to get going a full day of chores.

FALL DECORATIONS

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I put this wreath together yesterday with Chinese Lanterns and bittersweet from the yard.  The bittersweet is not quite open yet but in a few days it will be in full bloom.  This morning it was in the low 40’s so I had better get my herbs picked and dried.  Frost will be here before we know it.

CHORES

I got the window up in the Chicken Coop.  The wire in front needed fixing so that was done too.  While I was doing that I noticed a few boards that needed to be nailed in and did that.  It’s never just one thing!!!!  I also decided to get the evergreens picked and put in the window box before a hard frost.  I added a pumpkin and some bittersweet for a  fall decoration.

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So many of my bird houses this year need repair.  I am painting one of them and hope to get it up sometime tomorrow.  There are three more to fix and get up.  

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I got my old walnut hulls saved from last year and am now doing some dyeing .  I have left the wool in with the hulls overnight.  I am hoping that it gives the wool a darker color.

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EMBROIDERY PATTERN

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I have been looking all over for a Chervil to embroider.  They are none that pleased me.  The other day I was going to the bank in Shelburne Falls  and parked in the parking lot and saw some Queen Ann Lace.  It looks great in its fall state so I picked three and now am working on a pattern.

I cut them in half and put them on my copier.  I hope the copy is clear enough to  copy free-hand on my fabric.  I plan to start it tomorrow and will let you know how it comes out.

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I hope you have a wonderful day and many thanks for reading my blog.   Carole

 

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WHAT A DAY-MY DREAM-SUNFLOWER PINS-THE CATS-DYEING WOOL

17 03 2015

GREETINGS

The day started off dark, damp, and dreary but there is sun and clouds now and the temps are nice  Snow is slowly leaving the mountain and the chipmunks and skunks are back.

WHAT A DAY

I am out of hay and the person i buy my hay from in Greenfield has no more.  I will need a supply till haying starts in June .  I called my friend Ceacy to find out the first name of a person whom I know has hay and she said she was bringing me down a couple of bales of her hay to tide me over.  Today she showed up with 4 bales of hay.  So nice of her.  Then I was making the chickens oatmeal and  there was a knock on the door and it was my Friends Ulla and Dick from Plainfield.  SHe had books and spinning equipment for me to do as I pleased

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And a bottle of citronella oil that she had made herself.

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 I have been thinking of them this morning.  What a nice surprise.  Then Wool and Dye works called to place an order for dyed wool, I had been thinking of those wonderful folks lately and planning a trip down.  All this in one morning.What a day.

MY DREAM

My dream was to have a herb farm,  grow  herbs and flowers have a small shop on the property with an  occasional open house.   Things didn’t quite go that way.  This dream has been on the back burner since the mid seventies.   I have decided to pursue it now in a very small way.   The dream all started when I would demonstrate spinning at The Big E.  I would wander around and always end up in Storrowtown village in the Caprilands booth.  I loved everything in the booth.  All the herbs and spices wreaths and other things.  I can still remember the smells.  I started adding herbs and flowers to my gardens, reading and researching.  Now there are so many people doing this that I have to find a niche.    I came across this book, Growing your Herb Business which I had bought a long time ago.  I am reading it and making notes.  It has a lot of very good information.  

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I do make a lot of herbal things and have decided to grow herbs that aren’t as popular.  Borage and Lovage are two that come to mind and I hope to start soon..

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 I will add a few more.   I am looking forward to starting this adventure

SUNFLOWER PINS

I have started  Sunflower Pins, Some will go to Sheep and SHawl for sale.  They are fun and quick and I will be having a class in making them there at the end of the month.  

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My cat friends are napping upstairs today where it is nice and warm.  I wonder if they will be doing more yarn bombing tonight!!!!

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Many thanks for reading my blog today I hope you have a wonderful day.   Carole

DYE WOOL TODAY

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THRILLING GAME-DYED WOOL-WARMER WEATHER COMING

6 03 2015

GREETINGS

It was 7  below this morning but that didn’t stop the hens from laying 5 eggs before 9.

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I expect there will be a couple more later in the day..  The days are longer and the time will change on Sunday.  The sky is a brilliant blue and the snow shadows are getting longer.

Sammy has been sending time bird watching.

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THRILLING GAME

On Wednesday night Belchertown Girls basketball team played Longmeadow at The Cage at Umass in a semi-final.  The game was a nail biter from start to finish.

The Winning Score

The Winning Score

 A dream of my Grand Daughter was to play at The Cage and her team won.

Tea

Tea

 Now on Saturday they will play Pittsfield in the final.  The girls played a great game and showed good sportsmanship.    Good luck Belchertown Saturday night .

DYED YARN AT SHEEP AND SHAWL

RUG HOOKING CLASSES TO START SOON GET SIGNED UP

I brought the yarn to Sheep and SHawl on Wednesday.  The classes on spinning and drop spindling and hooking with yarn will be starting soon.  SIgn up .

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WARMER WEATHER ON THE HORIZON

Another cold night today then the weather warms a little.  SOme snow flurries over the weekend.  then tems in the high 30’s and freezing at night.  Good Maple Syrup weather and sounds like a slow thaw.

Many thanks for reading my blog and I hoe you have a wonderful day. Carole

 

 

 





DYEING YARN-OWEN-HOOKED RABBIT FINALLY FINISHED

4 03 2015

GREETINGS

It’s not as cold today and we are suppose to get snow, sleet and freezing rain in the evening.  I am worried about the barn and will be putting sandbags u in front of the door later in the afternoon.  The chickens are laying more eggs and the sheep are getting rammy (butting each other) so spring can’t be far away.

MAUDE

MAUDE

DYEING YARN

I have a good amount of Bartlett yarn hanging around and decided to over dye it and sell it at Sheep and Shawl.  Tomorrow if the weather is good I will be bringing things to the shop for my hooking class and to sell. Liz is back from her wonderful time in Maine and I am anxious to hear all about it.

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OWEN

The house is much different now without him in it.  Thank you all for all you words of wisdom, you will never know how much they helped me.  I realized  in Owen’s death my calling always was animals.  I love them.  Sometimes they are here for a short time and others for a long time.  Even the naughty ones like Marley and Mr. Peepers are loved.  Thank you all.

HOOKED RABBIT FINALLY  MOSTLY FINISHED

I am trying to be a better finisher in the rug hooking area.  Lots and lots of unfinished projects.  I finally got this rabbit piece finished just in time for Easter.

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WINTER WINTER GO AWAY

This has been a horrible winter for so many folks.  Tonight was the last straw.  I went up to give the sheep water and the faucet came off in my hand.    I have been pretty good about all the broken pipes and hard work but I am now done.  Hope the melt is slow though I really don’t feel like doing a major barn and coop clean up.

Many thanks for reading my blog on this sunny March day.  I hope you have a wonderful day.   Carole

 

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RUG HOOKING WITH YARN-A DYE STUDY GROUP-COPPER DYE UPDATE

22 03 2014

Hello

Second Day of Spring

Snow flurries are fluttering about this morning while the temps hover below freezing.  Last night the winds were howling, but it will warm up today and this may be winters last gasp.

RUG HOOKING WITH YARN by JUDY TAYLOR

Rug hooking with wool was thought to have started somewhere in the 4th century with tufts of wool.  Methods improved and burlap was being used  as a backing in the 19th century, people were gathering thrums from the weaving or spinning room floors in mills and using them in their rugs.

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This book has been quite useful to me.  It covers hooking with yarn completely.  More and more people have stashes of yarn and this is a wonderful way to use them up. 

In this book you will find out how to figure how much yarn you will need to complete a project, many methods of dyeing, and much more.

NATURAL DYE STUDY GROUP

This summer we plan to have a dye study group.  I am not sure exactly how it will work out.  Maybe we all bring  wool, and other fibers and divide them up.    I will investigate how other groups have done it.  It will be fun.  The blue dye is coming along nicely.

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Chris is here and we  are ready to tackle the barn tomorrow.  I hope we can get a good chunk of it done.

Hope you had a wonderful day and many thanks for taking the time to read my blog.   Carole





A CALENDAR OF COMMON DYE PLANTS-PUSSY WILLOWS-COPPER DYE RECIPE

20 03 2014

HAPPY SPRING

SHORTY THINKS NAPS ARE IMPORTANT

SHORTY’S WAY OF GETTING READY FOR SPRING

A CALENDER OF COMMON DYE PLANTS

Some years ago I got a wonderful Newsletter from England.  It was about all sorts of needlecrafts including spinning and dyeing.  I looked forward to it so much.  The articles were wonderful and the editor was Rowena Edlin-While who has written a few books.  She and Dee Duke wrote a series of small books about spinning and dyeing and I purchased this one.

This was a very reasonable book and most of the plants listed are grown here in the states.  ONe of the dyes is Coltsfoot, a plant which is seen on the side of the road in April, it produces a yellow dye.  With each dye recipe there are interesting tidbits about the dye plant.

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PUSSY WILLOWS

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The pussy willows are in full bloom now, I have cut the branches that need to be away from the roof but they are still iced onto the roof.    I think I will root a few this year in water and put them in other locations. 

INSTANT COPPER DYE RECIPE

Always use caution when making this dye as ammonia  is a dangerous substance.  Read the label and wear safety glasses when pouring.

Place a 12 inch piece of copper pipe or anything copper (pennies will do) into a gallon glass jar which has a cover.  Also pour in one quart of ammonia (CLEAR NOT SUDSY) add 3 quarts of water.  Cover and let stand for 1 week.  When the color changes from a light blue to a deep royal blue its ready.   Drop in a handful of wet, clean fleeces, wet cotton or silk, most fibers will work.  You don’t need to stir it but don’t let the fiber lay on top.  Take it out in 15 minutes or before if the color is to your liking.. You may put the fiber in for a little longer if you want a darker color.  I would not leave anything in longer than 25 minutes as it can be damaging to your fibers.  I have found that 10 minutes is enough time to absorb the dye.  Rinse your fiber well

When we did this as a group and we found everyone’s dye was different, the result was many different colors of blue.  Try making 2 batches from water from different places..

This dye can be used for approximately 8 months to a year.  It’s best to make a new batch after that time.  Enjoy.

These gallon pickle jars are hard to acquire.  I had 5 or 6 from many years ago and have acquired a few along the way at tag sales and flea markets.   They were not expensive.  I have two that are allocated for dye purposes, once you do use them for dye they should not be used for any food storage.  The rest I do use for food storage. The Following picture was taken after only a couple of hours, I will post more picture of the dye in progress.

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Many thanks for reading my blog on this first day of Spring.  Hope your day is wonderful.  Carole